The latest rumor could be the revival of a long gone brand.
Remember back when the only names that mattered in cell phones were BlackBerry, Nokia, and Palm? Those were the good old days. Phone’s batteries lasted a week. You could drop phones down a flight of stairs, pick them up and go back to work. And you would hold on to your phones for a couple of years. I miss those days. A lot has changed since then.
BlackBerry went through a rough time, and while BlackBerry has lasted the test of time, and never went away, current devices are now being made by licensees. Nokia was bought and sold and disappeared, and are now seeing a resurgence thanks to HMD who now owns the brand name, and a love for nostalgia. Palm was purchased and killed by HP. Later, the name, but not WebOS was sold to TCL, who is also the biggest licensee making BlackBerry smartphones.
The latest rumor is that a new Android powered Palm phone will be arriving this year, and sold through Verizon stores. The question remains, what kind of phone?
It would be very simple for TCL to take the route the new Nokia has taken, and release any number of new slab Android phones. Palm was always a smartphone, so there’s no real retro-dumbphone route they can take as Nokia has done with a few throwbacks. Odds are, I think we will see another slab phone. But I hope that’s not the case.
Palm still has fans. I think this would be a good time to give that niche category what they want. Of course, it won’t be WebOS, which is what they really want. I feel your pain folks, it seems today’s market simply won’t support anything outside of the duopoly of Android and iOS. But how about an updated Treo? Perhaps a Pre? TCL could corner the market on physical keyboard phones, as they hold the brands for the two most beloved physical keyboard phones.
I can’t wait until I can walk into a carrier store to go look at BlackBerry, Nokia, and Palm phones all over again. It may be just what’s needed to bring excitement back to the smartphone market again.